In 2007, over $240 million in grants were distributed by IOLTA programs nationwide to provide free civil legal services to the poor and to fund improvements in the administration of justice.
- Given the important role that these state-based programs play in funding access to justice, the federal government should not take any steps that might undermine IOLTA. However, an unintended consequence of the TLGP is to create a situation in which total client funds held in a financial institution in excess of $250,000, including those currently held in IOLTA, are eligible for unlimited insurance if they are removed from the IOLTA and placed in “non-interest bearing deposit transaction accounts.”
- Countless numbers of low-income persons in need of free legal aid have been helped through IOLTA funding. In Texas and Louisiana, for example, the devastating hurricanes of the last few years that resulted in loss of property, displacement of families, widespread consumer frauds, and added pressures on families have put a strain on free legal services in those states. It simply would not have been possible for the legal aid providers in those states to meet these monumental challenges without the funding made available through their IOLTA programs.
Please read the letter and even though the response date has closed, we hope the FDIC is listening.